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Hip-Hop Fridays: The Los Angeles Hip-Hop Summit Registers 60,000 Voters

The non-partisan, non-profit Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, working in coordination with the African American Voter Rep Project, registered over 60,000 young voters in preparation for the Los Angeles Hip-Hop Summit which convened on February 14th, during the recent NBA All Star Weekend. The Summit was held in the Bovard Auditorium on the campus of the University of Southern California.. The Black Student Assembly and the Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc. were the USC student sponsors of the event. The corporate sponsors of the Los Angeles Hip-Hop Summit were Anheuser- Busch, Inc, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), the SEIU Union and Pirelli Tire Company. Anheuser-Busch, Inc. is the national tour sponsor for the 2004 Hip-Hop Summits.

Hip-hop recording artists were joined by hip-hop NBA and NFL players, hip-hop wrestlers from the WWE, hip-hop actors and leading hip-hop college professors. The line-up of artists at the LA Hip-Hop Summit was led by Snoop Dogg, Kanye West, Loon, Tamia, the Young Gunz, Layzie Bone, Noctournal, the Outlawz, Crooked I, Money B, Daddy-O, Poetess, Cherub, Duane "Hump" Hobbs, LT Hutton, Lady Emmy and Fredro Starr, as well as comedian Arnez J, Washington Redskins' Byron Chamberlain, and the WWE's Charlie Haas, Shaniqua , Shelton Benjamin and Orlando Jordan. Professor/author Michael Eric Dyson and Professor Keith Harrison also participated.

Roc-A-Fella Enterprises CEO and HSAN co-chair Damon Dash emphasized, "The hip-hop community is so powerful and, while some of us have been very successful entrepreneurs, it's just as important to acknowledge that we are a part of a larger community. We can make a difference by doing our part to empower kids to change the world. Voting is an important step toward that." HSAN Chairman Russell Simmons stated, "Damon's chairing the LA Hip-Hop Summit is an example of how this movement has many leaders and can't be stopped."

Roc-A-Fella recording artist Kanye West affirmed, "Hip-hop is the voice of the people, as is voting. We are using this medium to empower our community." Bad Boy recording artist Loon stressed, "We must not allow adversity to break our spirit. Registering to vote is both an opportunity and a responsibility and hip-hop today provides the best means to encourage the youth to make this positive step."

Elektra recording artist, Tamia, represented, "Registering to vote is essential, and we are here to show our support for this important cause." Lazie Bone of Bone, Thugs & Harmony commented, "Voting is a very important thing and we should all take part in this movement. This is our chance to make a change in our country and to exercise our right to choose our leaders."

EDI from the Outlawz stated, "The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network is a really positive force and we are honored to be a part of this movement. Hopefully, this will change the youth of my generation's perspective on voting and politics."Steve Lobel, Outlawz manager and CEO of A to Z Entertainment, offered, "I thought this was a very successful event and the HSAN is a very positive vehicle that we should all embrace."

Mike Concepcion, HSAN Board member and CEO of Grand Jury Records, posited, "The Los Angeles Hip-Hop Summit displayed unity within the hip-hop nation, and our unity is important to continue to provide real economic, as well as political, opportunity for our communities."

Dr. Benjamin Chavis, President/CEO of HSAN, concluded, "In addition to expressing our appreciation to Damon Dash for chairing the Los Angeles Hip-Hop Summit, I have to give a special shout out to Congresswoman Diane Watson (D-CA), California State Assemblyman Mark Ridley-Thomas (D-CA), Teri Holloman, Craig Nobles of Grand Jury Records, Johnny Furr of Anheuser-Busch, Inc., Alonzo Robinson of ASCAP, Minister Tony Muhammad, Brother Kelechi from USC and all of the artists and other participants who worked together to make the Los Angeles Hip-Hop Summit a tremendous, historic success."

Johnny Furr, an executive of Anheuser-Busch, Inc., presented a check for $10,000 for academic scholarships to the Los Angeles-based Brotherhood Crusade.

Note: The above is a release from the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network

Friday, February 20, 2004

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